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Benefits of Calendula

Updated: 2 days ago

Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis

Common Names: Garden marigold, Marygold, Pot marigold

Family: Asteraceae or Compositae (Sunflower)

calendula plant

Calendula is also known as garden marigold, marygold, pot marigold, and its scientific name Calendula officinalis. Calendula is a fragrant annual with colorful flower petals ranging from goldish-yellow, orange, and reddish-burgundy with simple green leaves that are easy to grow in average, moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun (1). Calendula has been used for centuries, both internally and topically, to heal wounds, burns, and rashes, but it does so much more.

Benefits of Calendula

Contraindications & Interactions

Products Recommended with Calendula Ingredients


Benefits of Calendula

Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help fight damage from harmful free radicals. The buildup of free radicals has been linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease (2). Thankfully, calendula extract possesses several potent antioxidants, including triterpenes, flavonoids, polyphenols, and carotenoids (3,4,5,6).

Antioxidants also contain beneficial compounds that neutralize the harmful effects of oxidative stress in your body (7). One animal study discovered that rats fed monosodium glutamate (MSG) had significantly reduced oxidative stress and reduced the depletion of antioxidant levels by up to 122% after calendula extract (8).

Spasmolytic & Spasmogenic Properties

Spasmolytic properties reduce excessive smooth muscle contractility, responsible for cramping and discomfort in the abdominal area, caused by multiple conditions affecting the gastrointestinal, biliary, or genitourinary tract (9). Spasmolytic properties work by either enhancing the inhibition level or reducing myocyte excitation (10). Data from one study showed that the crude extract of its flowers relaxed spontaneous muscle contractions and provided a scientific base for this herb’s use in abdominal cramps and constipation (11).

Antiviral Properties

An antiviral property is when a substance, or in this case, an herb, can kill a virus or suppress the virus' ability to replicate, multiply or reproduce (12). Calendula shows some evidence of antibacterial, antiviral, and antitumor activity (13). For instance, plant pharmacological studies have suggested that calendula extracts have antiviral properties in-vitro (14).

Antifungal Properties

An antifungal property is when a substance, or in this case, an herb, can fight the growth of specific pathogens that could harm your health, such as ringworm, athlete's foot, tinea versicolor, toenail fungus, and jock itch (15). Studies have found the essential oil of calendula to have antifungal properties (16). In test-tube studies, the oil from calendula flowers was effective against 23 strains of candida yeast, including common fungi that can cause oral, vaginal, and skin infections (17).

May Promote Wound Healing

According to studies, calendula extract may regulate the expression of certain proteins that promote wound healing (18). For instance, a test-tube study determined that calendula extract increased the amount of collagen in wounds as they healed, which is necessary to form new skin (19). In animal studies, rats treated within an eight-day window had a 90 percent closure of their wounds, compared to only 51 percent of those who had not used the plant-based topical treatment (20).

Thankfully the benefits don’t end at test tube and animal studies. In a 12-week human study, 72% of those treated with calendula extract experienced complete healing of venous leg ulcers, compared with 32% in the control group (21). In another study of 41 adults with diabetes-related foot ulcers, 78% of participants achieved complete wound closure after daily treatment with calendula spray (22).

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May Improve Skin Health

Thanks to calendula’s antioxidant content that reduces skin damage caused by oxidative stress (23), calendula has anti-aging properties that may improve skin health (24). Studies demonstrate that calendula extract may enhance skin hydration and stimulate its firmness and elasticity, which may delay signs of aging (25). A 10-day study in 66 children with diaper rash determined that calendula ointment may be a safe and effective treatment (26). Finally, a test-tube study found that calendula oil has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8.36 (27), which is why natural sun protectants like Earthley’s Sun Shield contain calendula.

May Support Heart Health High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity are all risk factors for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States (28). Research indicates calendula’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may reduce heart attack risk. Still, these effects were only seen in a single test-tube study (29), so human studies are needed to confirm this benefit.

May Support Oral Health

Calendula has become a popular additive in toothpaste and mouthwash over the past years due to its powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, especially for gingivitis (30). Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness, and swelling of the part of your gum around the base of your teeth, also known as gingiva (31).

A test-tube study determined that a calendula-based mouthwash reduced the number of microorganisms on suture materials used for tooth extraction (32). A study involving 240 human subjects demonstrated that calendula mouthwash could significantly improve gingival index, plaque index, sulcus bleeding index, and oral health information suite indices after three months of treatment (33). In another clinical trial without a control group, marigold dentifrice reduced gingival index, plaque index, and bleeding on probing in 40 patients with established gingivitis (34).

Anticancer Properties

Several studies have been conducted to determine the potential anticancer properties of calendula. Research indicates that the extract activates proteins that kill cancer cells while simultaneously blocking other proteins that would otherwise interfere with cell death (35). Test-tube studies suggest that calendula’s flavonoid and triterpene antioxidants may fight leukemia, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer cells (36,37,38).

Thankfully the benefits don’t end at test tube studies. In animal studies, calendula fights carcinogenic activity within tumors and activates the lymphocytes, which fight against foreign and infectious invaders (39). Research has found that calendula extracts and isolated compounds have demonstrated a reliable potential in cancer management in treatment and palliative care (40). Additionally, calendula appears more effective than typically recommended topical agents at reducing and preventing the incidence of dermatitis caused by radiation used for breast cancer treatment (41).

benefits of calendula

⚠️ Warning: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this herb is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.

Contraindications & Interactions